Fear vs Faith!



Faith- A strong trust or belief in something you cannot see
Fear- Unbelief, Doubt; To dread; to be afraid of; to be anxious.
These are the definitions of fear and faith! As you can see they are completely opposite. Fear and faith cannot occupy something at the same time. Except for when you fear someone out of respect. Like God says we are to fear Him, He doesn’t mean to be afraid of Him! He’s our Dad! He wants us to respect Him and love Him. Have a deep respect for the Father. So let’s talk about fear. FEAR is NOT given by God.
“ For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7

A sound mind! That’s something we should all have! That never-ending trust in the Father! The complete faith in Him, no fear, no worry, no anxiety, none of that. But, we are human! So this isn’t the case for us. We do worry, we do fear sometimes. But that’s okay! Just know that when you feel that way you have to stop what you’re doing and pray! Pray for it to leave you, pray for peace and a sound mind! He is our comforter! He will get us through. Nothing good comes out of fear. We can’t live our life being afraid of everything. We need to be positive! We need to live our lives boldly so that all can see God’s power working in your life! People will see you and in a stressful situation, you could be the calmest person and everyone is going to think you are crazy! And they will ask, “ Are you crazy? Why aren’t you freaking out right now?” And then you can say. “ Because God gives me peace. I know He’s in control.” And they will be amazed. That’s all you have to do. And you can be that person that they will go to for advice and they might even start to ask you some things about the Bible. So you can really change someone’s life by just making a small change in your thinking process.
So what happens when you walk into a room with no light? It’s overtaken by darkness. You start to get scared! It’s unfamiliar, you don’t know what’s in the room, if there is a hole somewhere, you know nothing! You are completely surrounded by darkness. So you just curl up in a ball, start to panic, cry, or whatever it is you would do in that situation. But then, you discover, there’s a light switch! That light switch is faith! And all you have to do is flip the switch and then what? What happens when you turn on a light in a dark room? Darkness HAS TO FLEE! It has no choice! It cannot stay! It cannot occupy that space anymore. Sure that light might create some shadows, because our lives aren’t perfect, but we know that God will always make the darkness go.
The Bible says a lot about faith!

“ Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1
“ But WITHOUT faith it is IMPOSSIBLE to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. ( And it continues on explaining the faith of Noah) By FAITH Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with Godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of righteousness which is according to FAITH.” Hebrews 11:6-7

You can also continue to read and it talks about the faith of Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, the harlot Rehab! And the writer of Hebrews keeps going on how things were done by FAITH! These people of God lived by faith! They believed and they overcame many things because they had faith! We can look to them for example! They were just ordinary people like you and me! But what made them go from ordinary to extraordinary? Having faith in God! They accomplished amazing things because our Father, who still does amazing things today, used them because they had faith! God is always working “behind the scenes” in our lives. He does things for us that we probably don’t even notice. So we must thank Him always and trust Him with our lives! He has already done so much for us that we take for granted! He gave us life! He breathes air into our lungs! He gives us power to heal the sick and to lead nations to Him! He gives us everything! He IS our provider. He gives us faith. How do we get faith?

“ So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the WORD of God.” Romans 10:17

We get faith by HEARING! Hearing worship music, by hearing a good teaching, by HEARING the Word of God! Not just reading it in your head, but declaring the words out loud so that you can hear every word! It gives you faith. Try it out and see! It really does work!
Spend time in prayer and worship in your secret place and establish your relationship with the King of Kings! Trust Him. We CAN lean on God! We can depend on Him and Him alone! Faith does not mature or strengthen without trial or persecution. We need to go through things to learn and to get a deeper faith! Going through trials is a stepping stone closer to God. You can either trip over it and curse God, or you can use it as a step UP! Use them as stairs to go up to the throne of God! He sustains us to keep us coming closer and closer to Him! If you fall, stand back up and keep going! When you’ve done all you can to stand, just stand.

Music Destroyed Me


So today I’m going to talk about, music.

Yeah, I know a lot of you won’t want to hear about it because music is awesome right? I love music! I grew up in a musical family, and I was always listening to it, even as a baby my Mom would put music on to help me fall asleep. Well I like to call this “ Music DESTROYED me.” But then, Music saved me. How can music destroy you? What does that mean? Well, when I was about 13 I started to get really interested in listening to the radio and looking up new songs and artists on youtube, and I became just, I guess the right word would be “ Obsessed” with music. I would constantly think about it, listen to it, spend all my time just watching celebrities and just obsessing. I really liked Taylor Swift, and I loved John Mayer. Yeah, I still do, but I now have a healthier perspective on music. So why is music bad? Well, it depends on what kind of music you are listening to. I know that I would listen to a song and if it had swear word in it I would just over look it and not care. But I would listen to that song more than once, and if a song is talking about something inappropriate, my excuse would be “ I just like the beat, I don’t know the words.” Yeah, okay. No I knew the words, they were bad. And when you get that song stuck in your head, that’s all you hear and you meditate on it! I knew that what I was doing was wrong, I hid it from my parents, I even used it against God. The level of obsession was bad. I know some of you will go “ Oh well that’s not me, I don’t always think about that when I listen to music, I’m not convicted to stop.” etc. There are a lot of excuses, and I know because I’ve used them all. Music shouldn’t be bad.

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” Colossians 3:16

Music is a beautiful thing, and God loves it. But do you think he likes it when people are using it to glorify themselves? Glorifying evil? Not pointing to the one who created you?

The love of God is what you need in music.

According to http://itstheskittlee.hubpages.com/hub/Music-and-the-Influence-on-Society  “The media and parents want blame music for the way kids act. They blame it for the gang violence, murders and suicides. They believe the music kids listen to changes their perspective about life. Then they start blaming the artist for singing about such vulgar, melancholy, morbid music. Along with that, kids start judging each other by the music they listen to; they stereotype each other into certain cliques and they laugh at them because of it. If kids took the time to notice and listen to others, they might find out that there will be a couple common songs between them. When kids are grouped into certain cliques they might feel like they only belong in that group. When did the music go bad? Music use to have a meaning, it use to symbolize a feeling and have heart filled messages being sent out. Now all you hear music talk about is drinking, guns, murder, drugs, rape, and suicide. I’m not just talking about rap music, it’s in rock and metal too.”

So music has a powerful influence on us. Music went bad the moment you took God out of it, the one who deserves our praise, our all, our music is supposed to be for him.

Now if you are ready when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, to fall down and worship the image that I have made, well and good. But if you do not worship, you shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace. And who is the God who will deliver you out of my hands?” Daniel 3:15

It says to fall down and worship the image that I have made. When you listen to other artists and go to concerts, they become idols. You worship that person, I know that sounds extreme but you do. By putting your focus on the person above God, then that is wrong. He says “ Thou shall not have any other gods before me” but we are breaking one of the commandments.

An awesome worship leader named Kim Walker once said, “Without the love of God, it’s like we are  up here just making a bunch of noise, but the love of God changes us and we are never the same after we encounter the love of God.”

So what are famous people doing? They are just making a bunch of noise. Noise that God does not enjoy, I’m sure it’s like a little kid banging on pots and pans, screaming.

That’s how music destroyed me. Music, changed my understanding in two different ways, It made me question Gods existence, and it taught me things that I didn’t need to know.

While I was listening to that type of music I fought with my parents a lot! They didn’t like what I was listening too, and I would get irritated because I liked it and I wanted to do what I wanted to do. That’s not Gods way. I would start to ignore my dad’s teachings at synagogue; I would put my ear buds in while in the car when my Dad had worship music playing. I didn’t even worship, I’d just say the words. They weren’t coming from my heart. Little by little I was growing further and further from God. And the sad part was, I didn’t even care or notice. That’s pretty crazy that music had that much power over me. My Dad would tell me to stop putting in my ear phones on, or he would turn the worship music up so loud that I couldn’t even hear my music so I would just turn it off. And when I would hear the words from that music, a different feeling overtook me, not like that satisfying feeling my soul would feel, but my spirit was being fed.

At that time I didn’t read my Bible either. My spirit was hungry, but my soul was so full, it would overtake my whole being. When I heard the words of my King, I began to change, my heart was full of pride for my music, but it was melting. One night, I was in the car with my family and I didn’t have my ear buds in because the worship music was too loud. So I gave up, then I heard this song, It was a Jesus Culture song and I looked up and I really liked it, then I said, “Can you turn it up?” I’m sure my Dad was a little surprised! I really liked it, and the message was amazing! I went home and took the laptop and looked it up and listened to it for about a week. I just played it over and over. I also still listened to secular music, but I was starting to like worship a lot.

I played guitar and sang mostly Taylor Swift and attempted to learn some John Mayer songs, and I would write “ Love songs” but I didn’t know much about that anyway, only what I learned from other song, another example of what music was teaching me, that wasn’t the right understanding of love. God’s love, is the love we need to have for each other.

But anyways, I played those types of songs still. I played on our worship teams sometimes, but my heart still wasn’t there. I started praying more, but still not enough. I needed God. I started to get convicted I guess you could say. I started to feel guilty while listening to that music. I didn’t fully stop until beginning of this year. I deleted all my secular music; I just couldn’t listen to it anymore. God just hit me hard, and I’m so incredibly thankful that he did. Music destroyed me, but then music SAVED me. But God saved me through the message of worship music, and teaching me to let go of my obsession. Sometimes I still have a hard time with music that someone else has on, but I am able to stay strong because “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”  Ephesians 6:10

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About Liv

Hi I’m Olivia, I’m 17 years old and I have known God my whole life.

Y0u can follow me on Facebook HERE.

I was born into the Christian church in Syracuse, NY n 1997. I have two younger brothers and a younger sister. A lot of my family is christian so I had the chance to be with my cousins a lot.  We went to Sunday school together and just moved up from there, we were all really close. I prayed a lot as a child, but mostly for things like a pony, a puppy, etc but there was one thing I remember praying for and that was to live in the country.

One day we were visiting some friends and they lived in a small town called Red Creek. My parents were talking with them and they had mentioned that they had  a house that they were selling. My parents decided to look at it so we drove over there and when I stepped out of our van I saw this huge green house! It had three barns, woods all around, and plenty of space to run. It was a dream come true for me. All of us begged my parents if we could live there, we even picked out our rooms. I think my parents said they would think about it, so we drove home and I thought about that house a lot. Days went by and I kept asking if we could go back. But one day, my parents gave us the news that we are moving! I was so happy, I couldn’t believe we were actually going. Weeks went by and we were all settled into our new home.

We were also new home schoolers when we moved. We were home-schooled for a year in North Syracuse as well before we moved. My Mom was searching for a homeschool program for us to meet new friends so one day she found one a we went. I was always pretty shy but I made a couple friends and they helped me open up. It was a Christian home school program, but our very good friends that we met there , were Messianic Jewish. I never really heard much about what that was when I was in church. I also didn’t think much of it either when I was playing with my best friend, Easton. My family went over to their house a lot and they were always talking about the Bible. We went to other friends houses, too that were also Messianic Jewish and we would stay at all of their houses almost every night and until 1:00am or even later. It was fun though as a kid, but I always wondered why they were there so much?

One day we were all sitting down at dinner and my parents announced that we weren’t going to church anymore. I started to cry, because I thought that meant they didn’t love God anymore. I was so upset, but they were telling us about what we were going to do. We were going to go to our friends’ synagogue. I was like ” Synagogue??” But we did go and it was kinda cool. But it was very traditional, girls on one side and boys on the 0ther. We didn’t stay there for long and eventually we started having little meetings in our house with friends. We even had our first Sukkot in our yard, it was actually really fun. But every night the adults would sit around he fire and all they would talk about was end of the world type stuff.

I’ m going to jump forward a bit. The friends we Sukkoted with fell away sadly.Not all of them, but most. We were hurt by all the problems that came with fellowship so we stopped congregating for about a year to figure out stuff. I remember that year off hurt a lot. I even questioned the existence of God.

After our break and the constant begging of others for us to start leading again, we moved to a church building in Clyde NY. And that’s where we came up with the name ” Messianic Family Fellowship (or MFF).” My Dad was the congregational leader and he always had a teaching of some sort and he also led worship. We  met new people and reconnected with some old friends. At that time my Mom was running her own home school gathering in North Rose in an old school building, we called it ” VC ” which stood for Vineyard Conservatory.

MFF eventually moved out of that building in Clyde due to some issues with one of the owners, but our friends owned a big apartment building and they had store front that they said we could use. We were there for  few months on and off and eventually stopped congregating there. Then my best friend Easton’s family had their two-car garage available. Her Dad was still kinda new to the faith but he was learning a lot and he offered his garage and sound equipment to us for fellowship. They wanted us to start something steady. We had our Sukkot there in their backyard.

Our synagogue was growing a lot. We were there for almost two years and the next Sukkot we had was at a place called “Dates’ Pond.”  That was a really fun Sukkot. The times we had at the synagogue or ” Synagarage” as we called it, were bringing me back to believing. I believed but I was confused. I was about 13 when our youth group got Bar/Bat Mitzvaed all at once. It was an awesome party.

But it was more than just a party, it was where I become a  women of the commandments. Its where I declared that I now had the responsibility to keep them and no more goofing off. It was time to take my relationship with God to the next level. I, of course, still didn’t fully understand. Then again I was only 13. But I still didn’t care too much about what God expected of me. I heard the words. I knew all the stuff but I still didn’t really care. I’ve seen people hurt by the faith and the shunning we got from our family was the worst. I love my aunts and uncles and cousins and everyone. When they heard about our ” religion” change, we were the now called ” black sheep”  of the family. To me, that was hurtful. I felt awkward hanging out with my cousins. They would ask me questions that I didn’t have answers to about what we were doing. “Why can’t you eat that?” And all of that. I was too young to know, but now I know what is true and I know where I stand, and I know, that I know, that I know, that what we are doing as a family, is right.

Anyway, after I was was Bat Mitzvaed, I thought about things a little differently, but I still didn’t surrender to what I knew God wanted me to do. I wrote a lot of stuff on Facebook (mostly about how I couldn’t stand animal abuse, or relationship problems). I laugh a little now when I think of my 14 year old self, writing about relationships, because what the heck did I know? Not much. I had never been in a relationship at that time.

We had a lot of great times at the Synagarge, we had a lot of visitors, new members joined and we even had guest speakers come. But we rented building because the garage wasn’t big enough for all the people that wanted to come. Our congregation was growing a lot. When I was 15, we moved synagarge to our very own building in Wolcott NY. It was an old movie rental store and tanning salon. We had to fix it up a lot and build a room and paint and build a stage. But when we had it all finished, it looked awesome! We had a lot of ups and downs with our members, miscommunication, and belief differences. But we were able to work things out, and some people left. But we are all like a big family now and still growing.

I am now one of the worship leaders and years ago I would have been terrified to even stand on the stage. But after a lot of praying and constant embarrassing practices, I finally got used to it, well, not fully. But I am still learning. I am also starting my training in leading discussions at our youth group, so one day I can maybe start to teach.

I led worship for the first time after Sukkot of 2013, but then I wasn’t truly worshiping or even knowing what it truly meant to worship our Father. Even though I had been to my first Camp Yeshua that year, I still struggled to actually worship, especially in front of our congregation. Months went by and I still played music, I started only listening to worship music. I stopped listening to the other stuff. In April, 2014, on Shavuot, I had the opportunity to lead worship and actually worship God with no fear. I was nervous beforehand, we prayed before service, and the fear left me.

In the bible it says God doesn’t give us the spirit of fear. And I thought about that a lot, so I started to put it into action. Now I am still learning, still growing in my faith, just like you. I long for the Father to use me and my writing and my music ability, to reach others and be a light unto the world.